The fourth of July is next week—happy Independence Day! We thought it would be worthwhile to remind clients of a few things to consider when enjoying the festivities with pets.

Snap, bang, whiz

Even if your pet isn’t particularly skittish, the loud booms and cracks of fireworks that accompany the fourth can make the calmest animals nervous. Your pet may be more skittish and because of this, we recommend owners make sure their pets are microchipped so that if your pet does happen to take off, you can be sure to locate it.

Your dog ate what?!

Keep an eye on your pets—especially around sparklers, glow sticks, and grilling implements. Pets are curious and that’s one of the characteristics that make them so endearing, but it can also get them into a lot of trouble!

It’s incredibly tempting to throw our pets table scraps especially when they’re outside with us and we’re barbecuing, but many human foods aren’t suitable for pets. Not only can they lead to diarrhea and other GI upset but some of them are actually toxic. Remember: if your dog does ingest something and you need to call or bring him in, don’t be embarrassed—we’ve very nearly “seen it all”.

Freedom within boundaries

If you’re hosting an event, keep your pets inside your home or in a fenced-in area. If you crate them, make sure the crate is safe; a skittish pet can wreak havoc in a crate, tearing blankets, etc.

To nip many of these problems in the bud, consider leaving your pet at home if you’re heading out to the park for the fireworks.

Avoid too much sun

Pets can become overheated in hot weather so be sure to provide them plenty of water and limit their sun exposure. If your pet is outside for long periods of time, make sure they have access to shade. Dogs regular their temperature by panting; if you see excessive panting, hyperventilation, confusion, dizziness, or pale gums your dog may be suffering from heat stroke. Give him a cool drink immediately and try to cool him down by allowing him in a body of water or place cool towels on his body (neck, armpits). Call your local ER clinic or take him in asap.


Find a reliable boarding facility and be aware that canine cough has been circulating in our area! Ask the boarding facility how they screen for sick pets and what their vaccination policy is. Check out this link for more info.

Many of these tips are common sense and we don’t want to discourage you from enjoying the festivities with your pet. Just be aware of the possible dangers and avoid situations that may present problems for your furry friends. We wish you a very happy Independence Day!

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Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is a locally-owned animal hospital operating for over 90 years in Ann Arbor, MI.